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Life coaches help people find direction in their lives. This can include identifying natural talents and abilities, evaluating career paths or making other life choice decisions. Life coaching often involves visualization, self-actualization and goal-setting activities. Life coaches are certified by the International Coach Federation (ICF). As of 2010, the state of Georgia placed no additional certification requirements on life coaches. Georgia also does not require life coaches to be certified in order to practice. That said, consumer and professional psychology groups have been lobbying for state certification requirements, so the lack of state regulation could change.
Georgia residents wishing to pursue ICF certification in life coaching must complete 60 hours of training that includes interaction, either in person or via telephone, with a certified trainer. A number of programs are available nationally. You can find local programs on the Georgia Coach Association website. Training modules include Creating a Relationship, Communicating Effectively and Facilitating Learning.
Life coaches must accrue at least 100 hours of paid coaching experience before they are eligible for ICF certification. Coaching hours cannot be used to deliver any other services such as counseling or therapy. Coaches seeking certification must document all hours including the client name, date, time and pay rate. Proof of payment for services may be required. Candidates for certification must have a minimum of eight current clients.
Certified life coach candidates must pass a written examination that tests their knowledge of life coaching techniques. The exam also tests a candidate’s ability to translate the theory of coaching into actionable plans. The facility from which the student receives training will administer and score the exam. Students attending ICF-approved training will automatically receive ICF certification upon completion of all requirements and passage of the certification exam.